The Apprentice 5, Episode 13: Suite Victoryby Betsy Wasser -- 05/23/2006
Last week, on The Apprentice, Sean and Lee had some major vendor problems, but their superior design won the challenge. Allie and Roxanne ganged up on Tammy, Mean Girls style. Trump decreed that Tammy was an ineffective leader, so she was fired. That leaves us with four candidates and a hard time deciding who to vote for. Lee is a worm, and Allie and Roxanne have been incredibly petty of late. That leaves Sean, so I’m rooting for him kind of by default. Who will be fired next?
We pick up, as always, in last week’s boardroom with Allie and Roxanne gunning for Tammy. Meanwhile, Sean makes a salad for whoever comes back, though he admits in an interview that he hopes it’s Tammy. He wants to take her into the bedroom and give her a big… hug. He thinks Allie and Roxanne fight dirty, and his head tells him that Tammy won’t make it. He’s right- Tammy is fired. Roxanne and Allie return to hugs from Lee and say it was “brutal.” Sean is very disappointed and hates that he has to listen to Allie and Roxanne for another week. The women report that Tammy went after Roxanne. Roxanne thinks that Tammy singled her out. Allie thinks it’s crazy that Tammy thinks they ganged up on her. Sean says he’s “bored to tears of the rubbish that Allie and Roxanne come out with.” He intends “to destroy Synergy.” Go, Sean!
Sean answers the phone in his skivvies. Rhona asks them to meet at Estee Lauder corporate headquarters. Trump talks up his fragrance with the executives. Ivanka and Don are the viceroys this week. Trump congratulates Allie and Roxanne for making it through, saying that the boardroom was “not nice.” The task will be focused on design new uniforms for Embassy Suites- the front desk, the breakfast cook, the suite keeper, and the bellman. Each team will have a fashion designer, tailors, and hair and makeup artists. The employees will vote on the best line of uniforms.
Lee wants to run employee focus groups. Sean says the uniforms need to be in keeping with the hotel’s image. Project manager Lee really wants to win and get a 3-1 record. Sean thinks it would be horrible to be faced with “the aesthetic sensibilities” of Allie and Roxanne. He thinks Roxanne looks “like a fruit sundae” in her hot pink jacket. Sean says he’s a proud metrosexual. Lee claims not to know what a metrosexual is, but he sure wears a lot of hair gel to not know.
The men meet with Embassy Suites executives to make sure they understand the branding of the company. The image is high quality and upscale, but informal, polished, but fun. The uniforms should be crisp and stylish, showing some flair, but still functional. The executives encourage them to talk to the employees. Lee is all over that plan. He talks to a bellman first. He’d like the uniform to vary with the weather. Next they talk to the housekeeping staff. (I’m not going to call the “suite keepers.) They find that the staff mostly likes the way things look, but would like a few key changes.
The women meet with the executives as well. Allie wants to show lots of personality and to do more than just tweak the current uniforms. They talk to a woman at the front desk. She hates her pleated pants because “it makes you stick out.” Amen, sister. Allie suggests culottes. No one on the staff knows what they are. I do- they’re sort of a pants-skirt hybrid that tend to be incredibly unflattering. Bad idea, Allie. Allie thinks they have an advantage, being woman. Allie is confident that the men didn’t come up with culottes. Ivanka discovers that they haven’t appointed a PM. Allie has a few wins, and says she wants to do more. Still, she and Roxanne will share responsibility. They hug on being “kind of like co-PMs.”
And now for the Trump Lesson Of The Week: “Work vs. Friendship.” It’s great to have friends, but don’t let your friendships hurt your goals. And now for the Betsy Lesson Of The Week. Most people, after a trip to the grocery store, shove the plastic bags, say, under the sink. You can reuse them as liners for wastebaskets, lunch bags, or whatever. The thing is, though, you never go through as many bags in a week as you do new bags of groceries, so before you know it, you have so many plastic bags under the sink that if the U.S. dollar collapses and the new currency is plastic garbage bags, then you’ll be so rich we’ll go on a show to be your apprentice. It’s a little, silly, really. So the Betsy lesson is this: You don’t need all those bags. Either take them to the recycling area in your grocery store or just throw them away. Really.
Gold Rush meets their designer, Edward. Sean’s housekeeper dress has light blue accents. The chefs have traditional jackets with ventilation under the arms. Lee says they’re “solid,” but not too flashy or out of the box. He’s concerned that the women will come up with something innovative.
Synergy meets their designer, Mark. Roxanne says he’s a hot designer and designs clothes for Melania. He agrees to do culottes. Allie says that the employees want to be stylish more than functional. Oh, Allie. You’re going to lose. If you think someone who works on their feet all day long wants style over comfort, then you are completely out of touch. Allie says that the current uniforms are outdated and frumpy. Next they do the woman at the front desk and put her in a skirt. Roxanne makes a face- in an interview, she says the women wanted pants. Of course, she does not share this little insight with Allie, so it’s really quite useless.
The men buy reams and reams of navy blue pinstripes. Lee is impressed at how well Sean’s doing. He likes working with him a lot.
Synergy’s staff is sewing away. Allie fusses over the cuffs- she doesn’t want them to be too dramatic. She also doesn’t like the zipper. Then she says the fabric is wrong. Roxanne says Allie shouldn’t be rude to their designer. She thinks Allie’s attitude towards him is “an embarrassment to the Trump organization.” To top things off, Allie calls him by the wrong name.
Sean coaches the models. Meanwhile, Roxanne talks hair. She’s confident they’ll win. Allie and Roxanne are wearing black dresses with turquoise scarves. It’s not a good look.
The staff arrives for the fashion show. Gold Rush is up first. The front desk uniform is a simple pinstriped suit with a green scarf. Synergy has a wrap jacket with green satin ties. The women note that the men are more traditional. The men’s breakfast cook uniform includes cargo pants and venting under the arms. Roxanne thinks the designs are stuffy and safe. Synergy has a really stupid outfit for the breakfast cook with a khaki, asymmetrical fitted jacket. Lee says the cooks hate it and it looks like a space age chef. The Gold Rush bellman has a waterproof coat and removable linings, good for all kinds of weather. Ivanka loves it. Synergy’s has the silly giant cuffs we saw before, a zipper up the front and is short sleeved. It is totally impractical. Sean says he’d feel “completely immasculated” wearing it. Housekeepers are last. The men’s have similar dresses to what they have now. The women’s are khaki with culottes and giant puffy sleeves. Sean says it’s horrible, and he is right. “The cast of Dynasty called. They want their shoulder pads back,” he says. The Synergy light tan would show dirt like crazy, and wouldn’t the breakfast chefs have all kinds of problems with stains? They’re really pretty awful. Allie is proud of their uniforms. She says “they’re impeccable,” and that Gold Rush lacks detail.
The Embassy Suites executives are excited and think they have a lot to run with. The candidates arrive. Trump yammers that it’s a contest of men vs. women. The executives say they have clear winner, one they could use for real. Gold Rush, Ivanka says, had these comments- comfortable to work in, fresh and warm, modern, sophisticated, and professional. 83 employees preferred Gold Rush. Synergy’s material, Don reports, looks uncomfortable, wrong color scheme, edgy, not practical, would not compliment all body types. They got only 37 votes. Trump is surprised that the women lost. He wouldn’t have if he’d seen those hideous uniforms
Ivanka says that Sean knew more about fashion and tailoring than she did. Don says his metroxesuality paid off. Sean says the win is for Tammy, and adds that Synergy has no idea about fashion or style. Good luck in the boardroom. The reward is dinner with Don and Ivanka. They’ll learn all about Trump.
Lee and Sean have dinner with the Trumps. Lee feels how close the finish line is. Ivanka says she knew their parents were wealthy, but they were strict. Don says that they probably were spoiled compared to most people, but in college, he only got $300 a month on his credit cards. That’s more money than I got, but compared to say, Paris Hilton, it’s a huge difference. Ivanka says that they appreciate it in retrospect. Sean says that it’s impressive how balanced they are. Sean loved the diamond reward. He was thinking of giving it to Tammy. Ivanka loves that gossip and says she liked Tammy. Sean hopes to meet up with her again. Sean intends to convince her that he is also gorgeous and that they need to have lots of babies. Ivanka says her dad wants people who are solid, tough, with integrity. He doesn’t like showboats, though he does like passion. Don says that people have started in security or the mailroom, but moved up with hard work. Ivanka shares that he wears a pink bathrobe. Don says he’s a blue collar guy with a lot of money. He’s firm, but caring, Ivanka says. He can be painfully blunt. Don says they were in the boardroom as kids “almost every day.” It’s a cool reward in that I would love a chance to hang out with Ivanka and (to a lesser extent) Don.
During the commercials, we learn that the polls favor that Trump fire Allie. I say he save us all some time and fire Allie and Roxanne.
Allie and Roxanne are upset. They feel like they nailed it and worked well together. The uniforms were stylish and Allie thinks they were comfortable. The two of them snuggle on the bed. Roxanne says they’ve always supported each other. She’s not going to throw Allie under the bus.
The women arrive in the boardroom. Allie winks at Roxanne. She says that nothing went wrong- they’re proud of the final product. It wasn’t received the way they hoped. They wanted to innovate. Ivanka says functionality was the problem. She criticizes the puffy sleeves. They’d be very unflattering with large arms, and she thinks it’s a mistake a man would have made. The khaki on a breakfast cook is no good- you can’t bleach out stains, so it’s “a one-time wear.” Trump asks who came up with the culottes idea, and Allie won’t admit it was hers.
He asks Roxanne if she would have been better as PM. Don thinks with such a big margin of loss, probably. There was certainly a lot of room for improvement. Roxanne says she would have been more vocal about changing some things. Did she speak up? Allie says no. Roxanne wanted the front desk person in pants. Allie says she never brought it up. According to Allie, both handled design. She’s surprised to hear Roxanne say it would have been different. Roxanne insists she said pants. Allie doesn’t remember it. Hey, does anyone hear a bus about to pull up? Is someone getting thrown under it, perchance? Ivanka is not impressed with sharing leadership 50-50. The PM must have authority. Allie says they saw eye to eye on everything.
Roxanne says she agrees to an extent, but most of the vision was Allie’s. Roxanne would prefer that neither of them be fired, but barring that, fire Allie. She thinks she’s a stronger competitor. Ivanka says she’s too tentative- too many “I think”s. Allie says Roxanne is not qualified. She’s a great attorney- hire her as counsel and Allie as apprentice.
Roxanne says Alllie did not have respect for the experts they were working with and offended Mark. Allie disagrees- he used the wrong fabric. Roxanne says there’s a nicer way to go about things. Allie denies fighting with him. Trump can’t believe Roxanne didn’t bring this up before. Allie says she’ll stand up for what she believes. They fight. Allie says Roxanne has attitude and can’t get along with PMs. She did that with Tammy. Roxanne is harder to work with, and she, Allie, is a chameleon. Rox says Allie is very demanding. Roxanne says she’s a hard worker, but won’t lie if she thinks something is wrong. Allie says when Roxanne was PM, Allie was instrumental. But in Ellis Island, Roxanne says, she saved Allie’s butt.
Trump thinks that the two of them like each other, but they lost and now are going at each other. It all has to do with losing. Losing is (naughty word). Trump is disappointed that they’re attacking each other. Roxanne and Allie are both fired! Yay!
Roxanne hugs her. Are we still friends? Of course, says Allie.
Trump says he hated seeing it and hated firing both of them. Ivanka says it showed a complete lack of loyalty.
Allie says she’d prefer that he fire neither of them. You have to defend yourself, so that’s what happens. She says they didn’t attack each other’s character. Roxanne says their friendship is intact.
I’m very pleased with this outcome, and not just because it saves me another week of recaps. Allie and Roxanne were absolutely horrible to anyone who crossed them. They ganged up on Sean when he supported Andrea, then they went after Tammy last week. Allie’s designs were horrendously impractical and showed no understanding whatsoever of the people who would be wearing them. Roxanne did nothing but sit idly by while Allie designed them. Good riddance to both of them.
On Monday, we’re down to the final two. Lee and Sean will pick teams and face big tasks. I assume Sean is calling dibs on Tammy. There are only two episodes left, and this time, America’s votes will help determine the winner.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. There are no culottes in her closet. She can be reached with comments at email@example.com